AAA Predicts More Traffic This Memorial Day Weekend | Edmunds

AAA Predicts More Traffic This Memorial Day Weekend


Just the Facts:
  • The roads may be a bit more congested this Memorial Day weekend, according to a new report by AAA.
  • AAA expects that 31.2 million travelers will choose the car as their primary mode of travel this weekend, an increase of 0.25 percent from the 2012 volume.
  • The average journey over the weekend will be 690 miles, higher than last year's 642 miles.

DETROIT — The roads may be a bit more congested this Memorial Day weekend, according to a new report by AAA.

AAA expects that 31.2 million travelers will choose the car as their primary mode of travel this weekend, an increase of 0.25 percent from the 2012 volume. The forecast predicts 89 percent of all trips this weekend to be on the road, up slightly from the 88 percent in 2012.

The average journey over the weekend will be 690 miles, higher than last year's 642 miles. In comparison, only 2.3 million will take leisure flights, down 8 percent. AAA explains that higher air fares and relatively stable — but still high — gas prices account for the preference for car travel.

"The automobile remains the dominant mode of travel for all holidays, including Memorial Day, due to its convenience, affordability, and flexibility," the report noted. "That affordability will be improved slightly this holiday period as gas prices are currently favorable compared to last year."

The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report at the start of the weekend pegged the average price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline at $3.65 versus $3.67 a year ago.

The AAA report predicts an overall slight reduction in travel compared to last year. AAA predicts that 34.8 million Americans will leave home this weekend, down from 35.1 million in 2012.

Memorial Day travel peaked in 2005 when 44 million of us took a weekend vacation.

Edmunds says: Better economic times and no big spike in gas prices can mean only one thing — you'd better be prepared for more traffic as you venture out this Memorial Day.

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